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Community Generosity and Academic Excellence Honored

Community Generosity and Academic Excellence Honored photo
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At the district’s April Board of Education meeting, both community members and students were honored for their accomplishments.

Thanks to the amazingly successful benefit gala that the Harborfields Community Educational Foundation (HACEF) hosted earlier in 2019 and the amazing generosity of the HACEF board, $55,000 has been donated to the district. This money will help the district continue to invest in and enhance the education of the community’s children, which is part of HACEF’s mission. Committee chairs Suzie Lustig, Karin Fey, and Kelly Walker and the rest of committee members were honored for their efforts.

“We are so thankful and proud of the tremendous effort that went in to this event, and we know that the students in our community will benefit greatly from this gift,” said Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum, Instruction and Administration Dr. Rory Manning.

Additionally, students Bryan Hyun, who was selected to be an EarthEcho Water Challenge Ambassador, and Cameron Best, a senior robotics student who was nominated for the First Dean’s List award, were recognized by the Board for their outstanding accomplishments.

Annual Bike Rodeo

Annual Bike Rodeo
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Kindergarten through fifth grade students had the opportunity to attend a “bike rodeo” hosted by the Harborfields High School Interact Club and TriFit Club on April 10. After receiving a tire pressure check and a helmet if they lacked one, children were led by club members in practicing bike safety skills by simulating real-life situations. Local businesses, including Adam’s Cyclery and Bicycle Playground, donated time and materials, helping make this event possible. Thank you to all who made this event possible!

Letter from the Superintendent regarding the 2019-2020 Budget Adoption

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Letter from the Superintendent regarding the revised 2019-2020 School Calendar

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Weather-Proofing Challenge

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TJL third-graders in Noreen Paccione’s and Diane Brown’s classes were recently challenged to build weather-proofed structures. However, in an attempt to engage students in taking control of their own learning, they were given no further direction. With the knowledge they already had, students worked together to build structures that could withstand both a hurricane and tornado.

“We didn’t explain to them what a foundation does, or how weather proofing a building keeps water out,” said Ms. Paccione. “With the knowledge they had of both powerful phenomena, they had to figure out to combat them.”

Students congregated outside to test each structure. Groups presented their designs to the class, explaining the reasoning behind the materials they used, and why they believed it would be safe.

“We build our house on a platform so the area below would flood, but none of the house would flood,” one group explained.

Each structure then went through hurricane conditions, which consisted of large cups of water being dumped overtop. If the structures foundation didn’t flood, it passed the first test. Next, a giant leaf blower was turned on the structure to test whether it could withstand a tornado. Most of the groups passed both tests, and they were very proud of their work.

“Students respond positively when they’re encouraged to take control of their learning,” said Ms. Paccione, “and we try to teach in a way that provides students with continuous hands-on opportunities.”

Harborfields Walks for a Wish

Harborfields Walks for a Wish photo

The rain couldn’t dampen the spirits of those in attendance on April 13 for the 13th annual Walk for a Wish event on the track of Harborfields High School. Despite the less-than-ideal weather conditions, hundreds of people showed up to support Frank, who’s been battling a life-threatening illness and his dream is to go to Atlantis in the Bahamas.

Not only did the Harborfields community raise the appropriate amount to grant Frank’s wish, but the grand total has eclipsed $19,000, which will allow the event to grant another wish as well.

Third-grader Becky Pashman was one of many students who went the extra mile to help someone in need. She, along with her sister and parents, used a kit to make bracelets with inspirational words and messages on them. Then, along with friends who made cupcakes, they had a stand where the bracelets and tasty treats were sold. All in all, the effort raised $100.

“I wanted it to go to good use,” she said of the bracelets. “I thought this was a good way to raise money for Walk for a Wish.”

Sixth graders Lea Jaffe and Kasey Wrede coordinated a bake sale, which collected more than $700.

“It’s really important to raise this money for those who truly need it,” Jaffe said. “We were happy we could do our part to help.”

Fifth grader Erin Lindqvist had a lemonade and iced tea stand, and she was able to raise $180 as well.

“I’m happy he’s able to go where he wants to go,” she said. “It just makes me smile to know we did great!”

Alexis Alpert, who now works for Make-A-Wish of Suffolk County, had her wish granted in 2005, and she went to Disney World. She was in attendance to see all of the fantastic work that was done to raise money for such a great cause.

“It just shows how the support of such a wonderful community can bring such inspiration and such life. It’s making such a difference,” she said. “It’s people like those here today and everyone participating over the past few months that help us grant these wishes.”

Coders Compete in “Hackathon”

Coders Compete in “Hackathon” photo
A team of eight cognizant coders from Oldfield Middle School competed in a “hackathon” held at Mineola Middle School on April 9. The OYO Hackathon, or Code Conquest, drew ten Long Island teams to compete in a series of sprint-like coding rounds. This event was held in collaboration with kidOYO, which is an educational platform used to teach students creative computing.

These rounds, tracked on large monitors for everyone to see, required team members to work together to correctly code projects to conquer territories on a shared map. Oldfield Middle’s team, coached by teachers Drew Lockwood and Mary-Lynn Karpenske, came in fourth place and are determined to return next year to take the gold.

“Our students are so interested in sharpening and mastering the computer science skills that they learn in the classroom,” said Mr. Lockwood, “and they continue to impress me daily with how quickly they’re advancing.”

Students Sharing Scrumptious Reviews

Students Sharing Scrumptious Reviews photo
Students in Mrs. Phillips second grade class at Washington Drive were recently challenged to practice review-writing skills by evaluating local restaurants. Second-grader Riley enjoyed the assignment so much that she shared her review, which praised a local burger joint’s cheeseburger for being “so juicy and tasty”, with the restaurant. She received a wonderful reaction from the store manager and Riley and her family were treated to free menu items upon their next visit.

Great job, Riley!

Educators of the Future

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Harborfields High School students interested in pursuing a career in education have the opportunity to receive hands-on experience through the Future Educators Club. Each student involved is placed in a classroom at the elementary school level. Once a week, students visit their assigned classroom teachers and assist with lessons, as well as working with the younger students one-on-one. High school students can be found confidently leading younger students in concepts like elapsed time, parts of speech, and more, throughout the district on a weekly basis.

At the club’s monthly meeting, members come together to discuss teaching strategies and share classroom experiences.

Senior Brooke Semmelmeier, the club’s president, has been a Future Educator since she was a sophomore and has known she wanted to be a teacher since she was a child. Not only has this experience given her a chance to experience teaching first-hand, but it also better prepares her for the future.

“When you’re a student, you don’t realize how much a really teacher does,” said Brooke. “They juggle so many different things—like being aware of the paces of each individual student or working to explain things differently to fit different needs. I have such a deep appreciation for all the teachers who taught me with such care and attention, and it makes me want to do the same for my future students.”

Dean’s List Finalist

Dean’s List Finalist photo
HHS student Cameron Best, a sophomore highly involved in the school’s robotics program, was recently selected as a finalist for the FIRST Dean’s Award.

FIRST is an organization that holds regional, state, and nationwide robotics competitions in order to inspire students’ interest in science and technology and seeks to award students that exhibit the highest level of skill, dedication and leadership with the Dean’s List award.

Cameron was named a finalist of only three island-wide and will be traveling to Detroit to attend the FIRST World Championship. Additionally, he will be recognized by the organization for his outstanding achievement.

“Cameron is an incredible robotics student who exhibits strong leadership in our club, even though he’s only a sophomore,” said robotics teacher Michael Pinto. “He mentors many of the younger robotics teams in the Harborfields elementary and middle schools as well, and is extremely dedicated to the field of technology.”

Cameron started working with robots when he was in fourth grade. While he is only halfway through high school, he hopes to pursue mechanical or aeronautical engineering in college.

Way to go Cameron!

Bryan Hyun Named Local Water Ambassador

Bryan Hyun Named Local Water Ambassador photo
HHS junior Bryan Hyun was recently selected by EarthEcho International, a nonprofit organization that seeks to equip the nation’s youth with resources to ensure a sustainable future, to serve as a Local Water Challenge Ambassador!

Bryan was chosen as one of 20 students nationwide to participate in the organization’s Water Challenge Ambassadors initiative. His role in this initiative will be to focus on monitoring water quality in the local community in order to help tackle the global water crisis at large.

In addition to monitoring water quality, Bryan will be increasing the knowledge of local water resources, as well as seeking to engage his community in conservation events.

“I see myself as someone who wants to change the planet, and I’m excited to start here on Long Island,” said Bryan. “I’m passionate about the conservation of water and proper disposal of waste, especially when living in a coastal community like we do. This program is the best start to making a difference that I could have imagined.”

Way to go, Bryan!

Harborfields Staff Supports April is Autism Awareness Month

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Math 24 Night

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80 third, fourth, and fifth grade students from Thomas J. Lahey came back to school on a Friday night to play tournament-styled math games on March 22. Groups of four students faced off against each other, using addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division to find a solution of 24 for each challenge. Throughout the night 24 donated door prizes were awarded to raffle winners.

Members of the HHS Match Club volunteered to act as judges. After arriving early for training, volunteers proctored each table of competing students.

Trophies for first place were awarded to third-grader Joey Serventi, fourth-grader Gavin Baron, and fifth-grader Rhys Walter.

Additional medal winners included:
Grade 3: Kelvin Semmes, Michael Palermo, Aiden Keenan
Grade 4: Brian Henry, Davis Howe, Alec Gerde
Grade 5: Anderson Soper, Talia Steinberg, Grey Wilkens

The night was a great success, thanks to the coordination of Mrs. Mayer and the sponsorship of the PTA, and the volunteering staff members, administration and parents!

Recognizing Successes

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Coach Robert Davis and high school senior Albert Zhang were honored by the Board of Education and administration at the district’s Board of Education meeting in March 20. Coach Davis was recognized for receiving the 2018-2019 Northeast Coach of the Year Award for Girls Tennis, and Albert was honored for being named a Finalist in the 2019 National Merit Scholarship Competition.

They each also received a special Citation, presented by Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum Dr. Rory Manning on behalf of Assemblyman Steve Stern, for their successes. Congratulations!

Exceptional Musicians Selected for LIU Post Festival

Exceptional Musicians Selected for LIU Post Festival photo
Nine HHS student-musicians were recently selected to perform in the 15th Annual LIU Post Band Festival on April 12 at the Tilles Center. Participants in this festival include the LIU Post Wind Symphony and select high school musicians from across the New York metropolitan area. Over 200 exceptional student-musicians from 40 different high schools across Long Island were nominated for this ensemble, and only approximately 120 were chosen to participate.

Harborfields students Danielle Barber, Victoria Bell, Jared Buchholtz, Catherine Capodanno, Ty Ellenbogen, Katie Farkas, Michael Mank, Tiffany Rounsavall, and Thomas Walden will rehearse and perform four pieces under the direction of IU Post Director of Wind Studies Dr. James McRoy and 2019 Composer-in-Residence Dr. Jack Stamp. Congrautlations, students!

A Burst of Magic at Washington Drive

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American author and illustrator Patricia Polacco visited Washington Drive on March 15. Ms. Polacco is known for her award-winning books such as the Keeping Quilt, Thank You Mr. Falkner, and Chicken Sunday.

Ms. Polacco captivated the students with stories of her life and how they affected her writing, and even brought in elements of her books—like her family’s keeping quilt, and a piece of a “magical” meteor that landed on her family farm—for children to see. Along with inspirational stories from her life, she also shared some of her life’s hardship. Ms. Polacco strongly encouraged students to never let people discourage them from pursing their dreams.

“Real poverty is when you run out of ideas and run out of hope,” Ms. Polacco told them. “You’re never poor if you have those two things.”

At the end of each assembly, children had the opportunity to lay their hand on the meteor piece and make a wish as they exited. Some students bounced with excitement as they walked away, claiming to have truly felt a burst of magic.

On a Mission to Help Others

On a Mission to Help Others photo
Four students from Oldfield Middle School have been selected as Local Honorees of the Prudential Spirit of Community Award. Seventh graders Violet Fava, Sophia Casillo, Madeline Barker, and Kaitlyn Wille, who are dedicated to bettering and serving their community, were recently awarded with a Certificate of Merit by the organization. This youth-recognition program chooses recipients solely on volunteer and community service, and is the largest in the country.

These students have volunteered heartfelt effort and many hours to Maggie’s Mission, which is a foundation formed by a Harborfields family in memory of their daughter and Harborfields student Maggie Schmidt.

Together, the girls wrote an essay explaining how they accomplished raising $1,185 for pediatric cancer research for the foundation by going door to door in the community. They initiated this project through a school–wide fundraising effort, which was spearheaded by teacher Mrs. Jennifer Garside.

“We believe that you don’t need to know someone in order to help them in their time of need,” the girls’ essay read, “and we are so proud to be able to give the money we raised towards cancer research for people who need it.”

Video: Women’s History Month at HHS

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Carnivale at OMS

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Italian students in grades 6-8 at Oldfield Middle School recently learned about Carnivale—an annual festival celebrated in Italy, particularly in Venice, Fano and Viareggio. The festival is famous for the elaborate masks people wear. Children typically dress up and participate in parades to celebrate the events as well.

To enhance the learning-experience within the classroom, students created masks that ranged from the simple to the ornate and wore them throughout the day.

Absentee Ballot Application

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Nominating Petitions for Board of Education Now Available

Are you interested in serving on the Harborfields Board of Education?  Candidate packets are available in the District Clerk's office.  

Two positions on the Harborfields Board of Education, each for three-year terms commencing July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2022, are up for election this year at the district’s annual budget vote and election to be held on May 21, 2019 at Oldfield Middle School.

Please contact Sharon Whelan, District Clerk, for more information:  631-754-5300, Ext. 300.
 

Peticiones de nominación para la Junta de Educación ya están disponibles

¿Está interesado en formar parte de la Junta de Educación de Harborfields? Paquetes de candidatos están disponibles en la oficina del Secretario del Distrito.

Dos puestos en la Junta de Educación de Harborfields, cada uno por un período de tres años que comenzará del 1 de julio de 2019 al 30 de junio de 2022, serán elegidos este año en la votación anual del presupuesto del distrito y la elección se llevará a cabo el 21 de mayo de 2019 en Oldfield Escuela intermedia.

Comuníquese con Sharon Whelan, Secretaria de Distrito, para obtener más información: 631-754-5300, ext. 300
 

Go APE Art Exhibition

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Harborfields High School students Nina Bennardo, Katie Farkas, Emily Grazaino and Nick Paul were recently selected to take part in the Go APE Advanced Art Placement exhibition at the Art League of Long Island's Jeanie Tengelsen Gallery. The exhibit ran from Feb. 16 - March 3, and students and were honored at the Artists’ Reception & Awards Presentation on last day of its showing. Student-artist Nina Bennardo also received an honorable mention at reception.

Now in its 12th year, the Art League of Long Island's "Go Ape" exhibition celebrates student artwork, as selected by their teachers, of AP art students across Long Island.

Ambassadors for a Day at Thomas J. Lahey

Ambassadors for a Day at Thomas J. Lahey photo

On Feb. 27, students at Thomas J. Lahey traveled around the countries of the United Nations thanks to the “ambassadors” from Mr. Augustino Rettino and Ms. Susan Turrini’s fifth-grade classes.

In preparation for this day, students worked in groups and studied individual countries in the United Nations and were each declared an ambassador for that country. Students prepared materials like travel brochures, maps, and informational presentations about each country. On Feb. 27 the rest of the school, along with parents and loved ones, were invited to visit each country, try some of the local cuisine, and read about the culture, government, and more. Additionally, groups even performed readings and songs related to the United Nations.

“It was really cool learning about a country that I knew nothing about,” said TJL fifth-grader, Alex. “I learned that, in Japan, voice acting is a very popular career path…and that they use different kinds of utensils than we do to eat their meals.”